Organisers pleased with Edmonton Peace March response

Organiser Hazel Williams was backed by hundreds of campaigners as she called for an end to teenage gang crime.

Organiser Hazel Williams was backed by hundreds of campaigners as she called for an end to teenage gang crime.

First published in News

THE organiser of Saturday's Edmonton Peace March has hailed the event as “a huge success”.

More than 400 people walked from Pymmes Park to Edmonton Green to make a stand against gun and knife crime – backed by community leaders and politicians.

Hazel Williams, who organised the event with teenagers from Craig Park and Croylands Youth Centres, said that the turnout showed that the community were united against the postcode war between gangs in the area.

She said: “The response was absolutely phenomenal – it was a great success.

“Enfield Council have invited me to a meeting to see what other things we can do around the borough to raise awareness of this problem, and keep the campaign going.”

Saturday's event culminated with an information event in the ArtZone in Edmonton Green Shopping Centre, where young people talked about how gang crime was affecting them, and music performances from local artists entertained the crowd.

Ms Williams added: “The event was great and we had so many performers that wanted to give their time – the Mayor of Enfield was so enthralled by what was going on she was late for her next appointment.”

Backing for the march increased after 15-year-old Negus McClean was stabbed to death by a group of youths on bikes in April – an attack believed to be linked to the battle between gangs from the N9 and N18 postcodes.

And the initiative has won backing from politicians from all parties – Labour mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone said on a visit to Haringey today that he supported the teenagers, while Ms Williams said she had received a letter from Boris Johnson praising the campaign.

Mr Livingstone said: “We have to listen to what these teenagers want – if we can find a way to give to them and help them, then we will.

“We need to target gang leaders wherever there is a rise in crime.”

Members of Edmonton's Unity Youth Team also took part in a special weapons sweep with officers from Enfield Police, where they found three knives as well as other potential weapons.

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